While most of the guest, especially Strobel, saw this culture already talking about Jesus as a golden opportunity, Dobson was adamant that this was a dangerous thing for Christians and said that he would be participating in a (surprise!) defacto boycott of anything Da Vinci Code.
For the first time in a long time, Christians may not be following the boycott mantra and seem to be disagreeing with the doctor.
John Miller wrote a fantastic editorial about how Christians are changing their tactics from previous blasphemous films.
He writes, in part:
In 1988, when Christians protested “The Last Temptation of Christ” for its depictions of Jesus as lustful and confused, [Josh] McDowell’s organization [Campus Crusade for Christ] tried to buy the film prints so that they could be destroyed.
That controversy actually helped “The Last Temptation” to achieve not just notoriety but also commercial success–what was once seen as an art-house film with small-time appeal suddenly became the must-see movie of the season.
It turns out, however, that many Christian leaders are choosing a completely different approach to the movie. They certainly aren’t embracing “The Da Vinci Code” and its conspiracy theories about the supposed marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the phony divinity of Christ and so on. Yet many view the film as providing an unconventional occasion–a “teachable moment,” as they say–to spread their faith. “It’s a marvelous opportunity to be positive,” said Josh McDowell of Campus Crusade for Christ in the Orlando Sentinel. “If you look carefully, truth will always stand.”
This is what made me so angry at Dobson, that I was screaming at the radio. The Da Vinci Code as far as facts goes, has no basis whatsoever. Even excludeding the theology of the book – the statements of history and art are demonstrably false on virtually every account.
If Christianity is true, if the Gospel is Spurgeon’s “caged lion,” then why do so many Christians cower in fear from falsehoods? I am excited about The Da Vinci Code movie. I am doing a Bible study on it and on the Gospel of Judas on Sunday nights. I am giving my teenage boys facts they can use for when people discuss things like The Da Vinci Code with them.
How often are non-Christians already talking about Jesus and who He is before we even bring it up? The theological arguments from the book/film are even weaker than the artistic and historical ones. We can take the Truth out into a culture that is seeking to understand these ideas. Why should truth fear lies?
When is the last time a lost person was curious about the Counicl of Nicaea? It is sad when Wikipedia has a better understanding of a historical event than a novel which states on the first page it is rooted in fact.
I don’t want to get into the book’s errors in this post, when I finish the book I will write on that, but the volume of them illustrates the absurdity of Christians who want to hide from this book and movie. [I have to give one because it illustrates the point so well. In describing the Council of Nicaea vote in 325 AD, Dan Brown writes that in determining the divinity of Christ the vote was very close. In reality, the vote was not on the divinity of Christ, rather if Jesus had a similar nature to or the same nature of God – and the vote was over 300 to 2 in favor of the same nature. Not exactly a hanging chad type vote.]
Numerous Christians are out in the culture talking about The Da Vinci Code and the real truth behind Jesus and the early Church – and people are willing to listen.
I can understand the hesitation of some in thinking about younger Christians with little Biblical literacy. I would not encourage them to read the novel or see the film, but neither would I forbid them. If they wanted to see it, I would simply ask them to talk with me or someone else after having seen the movie to go over what is false and what is truth.
Many say (thinking in the old boycott mentality) that they do not want to give a dime of their money to Dan Brown or anyone else that would support the lies in The Da Vinci Code. Lee Strobel gave a great suggestion to Dobson’s listeners – buy a used copy over the internet or check the book out from the library (which is what I did).
Christians should simply know what they are talking about and it is not hard. Dozens of books and resources are out there to find out what is true and what is not. While I am reading the novel, I have The Da Vinci Codebreaker ready anytime I have a question about a topic. Virtually everytime I look something up in the dictionary formatted book I find that Brown was completely off base on even the most general of statements.
It is encouraging to see that Christians may finally be awakening from the boycott slumber – which allows us to do nothing and think we are accomplishing something – and actually engage culture on issues in a positive way. Anyone that is open to actual facts will not be persuaded by anything from the novel or movie. This is a tremendous opportunity that Christians seems willing to seize instead of bemoan, maybe even the beginning of a trend.